Surface Wilmar, the country’s biggest cooking oil manufacturer and maker of Olivine and Pure Drop Cooking oils has told the government that the Command Agriculture program is not sustainable. The company proposed to implement an alternative model which reduces costs and empowers the farmer. As part of a congratulatory message, the company said,
The command agriculture has been declared as a great success and has given food sufficiency to the country. This was the need of the hour, however, the model has costs that are not sustainable in the long term. We stand ready to propose a model that will seek to empower the farmer as well as reduce the costs of doing so.
We recommend that Government provide subsidy on inputs like seed and fertiliser rather than paying the farmer prices above the regional market price…The country achieved excellent farming results about two decades ago, much ahead of the neighbouring countries, and the production numbers recorded in those years have not been repeated of late. This clearly indicates that the farmland is available, while the occupants/owners have not been productive.
The company also complained that the tax levels in Zimbabwe are too high and urged the government to consider reviewing the income tax levels.